Observations on life; particularly spiritual

How did Jesus do miracles?

jesus-miracles-400pxI have been asked the question, “Where did Jesus’ power come from – God, Jesus Himself, and/or the Holy Spirit?” The Bible records that Jesus definitely had miraculous power. In His hometown Nazareth, the people asked, “Where did this man (Jesus) get this wisdom and these miraculous powers” (Mt. 13:54NIV)? Even king Herod said that “miraculous powers are at work in Him” (Mt. 14:2).

The miracles associated with Jesus were events that couldn’t be explained by natural occurrences. So they require supernatural explanations. That’s why they are said to confirm Christ’s divinity (Jn. 20:30-31).

As Jesus was sent to earth by God the Father, was this the source of His power?

God the Father

After Philip asked, “show us the Father”, Jesus said, “Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing His work” (Jn. 14:10). The NET translates “His work” as “His miraculous deeds”, and says that this is most likely a reference to the miracles that Jesus had performed as a manifestation of the mighty acts of God. And Luke said that God the Father did miracles through Jesus Christ and “because God was with Him” (Acts 2:22; 10:38). Finally, through His “incomparably great power” and “mighty strength”, God the Father, “raised Christ from the dead” (Eph. 1:19-20). This was the greatest miracle of all.

So, God the Father was the power behind Christ’s miracles. But as Jesus was a member of the divine trinity, was this another source of His power?

His own divine power

Jesus’ miracles demonstrated His amazing power. When Jesus walked on the Sea of Galilee during a storm and calmed the storm, the disciples said “Truly you are the Son of God” (Mt. 14:22-32). When Jesus said He could forgive a paralyzed man’s sins and heal him, the religious leaders knew that only God could do this (Mt. 9:1-8; Mk. 2:5-12; Lk. 5:18-26). Then Jesus healed the paralytic (a visible miracle) to confirm that the man’s sins had been forgiven (an invisible miracle). And when Jesus healed a paralyzed man on the Sabbath day He referred to it as His work (Jn. 5:17). As Christ’s miracles provided evidence of His divinity, they were evidence of His inherent divine power (Jn. 20:31).

Luke said “the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick” (Lk. 5:17). The Greek noun kurios translated “Lord” (Strongs #2962) in this verse, which means master and owner, is applied to Jesus in Luke 5: 8, 12 elsewhere in this passage. Therefore, according to the context, in v.17 it means that Jesus had absolute power to heal the sick (some infer that the lack of an article in the Greek text implies the reference is to God the Father, but the article is also absent in verses 8 and 12). Contrary to some teaching, Jesus didn’t empty Himself of His divine power when He became a man (Phil. 2:7). Instead, He always had this divine power, which could be used when required.

When Jesus defended His claim to be equal with God He said, “the Son (Jesus) can do nothing by Himself, He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does” (Jn. 5:19). This doesn’t mean that Jesus had no inherent ability to accomplish anything miraculous on His own. He was so closely united with God the Father that He could only do the very things which He saw His Father doing. Jesus also said, “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him (God the Father) who sent me” (Jn. 5:30). Jesus is so closely united with God the Father that He could not act by Himself. He could not do anything that was independent or inconsistent with His Father’s will. Instead, He was obedient to His Father and always in fellowship and harmony with Him. Finally, Jesus raised Himself from death (Jn. 2:19; 10:17-18). As already mentioned, this was the greatest miracle of all.

So, His own divine nature was the power behind Christ’s miracles. But as Jesus was “full of the (Holy) Spirit”, was this the source of His power (Lk. 4:1)?

The Holy Spirit

From His baptism, Jesus was indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Mt. 3:16; Lk. 4:18). During this period, the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil (Mt. 4:1); empowered Jesus’ return to Galilee (Lk. 4:14); empowered Jesus to drive out demons (Mt. 12:28); and empowered Jesus to instruct the apostles (Acts 1:2). When the 72 disciples returned with joy from a missionary trip, Jesus was “full of joy through the Holy Spirit” (Lk. 10:21). The sin of blasphemy against the Spirit was attributing Christ’s power over demons to Satan’s power rather than the Holy Spirit (Mt. 12:31-32; Mk. 3:29).

According to Scripture, the main miracle associated with the Holy Spirit seems to be driving out demons. So, the Holy Spirit was the power behind some of Christ’s miracles.


We have seen that the Bible says Jesus had miraculous power and that the source of this power was God the Father, Christ’s divine nature and the Holy Spirit. So, the whole divine trinity provided the power for Christ’s miracles.

Written, November 2016

Also see: Why did Jesus do miracles?

8 responses

  1. Well spoken


    August 1, 2017 at 7:55 pm

  2. Rachel

    Thank you.
    I am frequently confused by teachings on this topic that maintain that Jesus performed all His miracles by the Holy Spirit.


    April 5, 2022 at 1:37 am

  3. David

    Trinity??? All the same???
    God the Father raised His Son from death.
    Gal 1:1
    Eph 1:20
    Rom 8 :11 who’s spirit. The Fathers. Not another being.
    Rom 10:9
    1Thes 1:9-10
    Worship the Father. Jesus own words. John 4:21-24
    The Father’s spirit. Not another being.
    Scripture only. All of it. Not just cherry picking what you want to follow tradition.

    All in love. The truth. Father and His Son.


    July 17, 2022 at 5:10 am

  4. Thanks for your comment David.

    I find it difficult to understand your comment as you do not seem to address the content of the post. What part do you think is “nonsense”?

    It doesn’t say that the trinity are all the same – only that each member of the trinity can be a source of Christ’s miraculous power.

    I agree with the rest of your comments.


    July 19, 2022 at 6:00 am

  5. Carmelo Alvarez

    This is true. This is a doctrine of inseparable act the triune God.


    January 11, 2023 at 2:53 pm

  6. DL

    Could you please explain how you describe faith?
    Romans 14:23 says for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.
    Jesus lived a sinless life on earth in utter dependency upon His Father.
    What do you do with verses when Jesus clearly states ‘without my Father I can do nothing’, my teaching is not my own but His who sent Me’ ,etc.?
    Acts 2:22 clearly states that Peter finally understood the humanity of Jesus Christ and what Jesus tried to teach the disciples the 3 and 1/2 years He was in ministry with them — that the Father did the miracles through the Son.
    How is it that Jesus could come to earth and behave as both God and man simultaneously?
    God is invisible – people saw Jesus
    God cannot be tempted – Jesus was tempted
    God cannot be taught and does not need to obey – Jesus learned obedience
    God cannot die – Jesus died
    God does not need to please anyone – Jesus pleased God.
    In order to pay the price for our redemption, Jesus had to be sinless. He came to be the example of the mystery of godliness – that attitude of humility and repentance (in my own strength I cannot do it) and faith (only God is able to do it – for without faith it is impossible to please God – Heb 11 :6).


    April 1, 2023 at 11:28 pm

    • Thanks for the comment DL.

      Romans 14:23 gives the mature believer perspective on what happens if the immature Christian goes against their conscience (Grant Richison). The immature believer who eats food that goes against their conscience is condemned by their own conscience. Whatever violates their conscience is sin. The mature needs to understand that the weaker believer would sin if they acted against their conscience and personal integrity. In this verse “faith” is one’s conscience and “sin” means that it is wrong to violate one’s conscience.

      Jesus did things that only God can do (Mk. 2:1–12; Lk. 7:48–50). But Jesus also displayed the weaknesses and vulnerabilities common to humanity (Lk. 19:41; Jn. 19:28). At the incarnation, God the Son added a sinless human nature to His eternally existent divine nature. Since then, Jesus never ceased to be divine and He never ceased to be human (Got Questions).

      You asked, “How is it that Jesus could come to earth and behave as both God and man simultaneously?” The answer is because Jesus had two natures – He was both fully human and fully divine at the same time.

      God is invisible – but people saw Jesus (His human nature)
      God cannot be tempted – but Jesus was tempted (His human nature)
      God cannot be taught and does not need to obey – but Jesus learned obedience (His human nature)
      God cannot die – but Jesus died (His human nature)
      God does not need to please anyone – but Jesus pleased God (His human nature)


      April 2, 2023 at 9:43 pm

      • Dana L Ovchinnikova

        Thank you for responding George. I do not believe that such a doctrinal difference is one that need divide believers, since we both agree that Jesus walked this earth fully God and fully human. What I will say is this — nothing has given my Christian life more than depth of meaning, greater understanding of the Trinity, the blessing of understanding how God created man to function, and the awesome illustration that Jesus Christ came to give us as an example of how we are to live through Him. I can only pray that more people understand it as the Holy Spirit has allowed me to, for nowhere in Scripture can it be refuted. As to the Romans 14:23 verse, we have verses in Scripture that can refer to a certain topic in context, but also allow us to take a complete sentence such as ‘Whatever is not of faith is sin.’ for this reason. If a believer is not walking by faith (in God, by the Spirit), then he cannot be doing anything other than walking in the flesh (in his own strength and not relying on God). Therefore it is sin. So this verse applies to whatever is not of faith is sin and cannot be disputed. Faith is that attitude or disposition that allows something or someone to get into action on your behalf. I see absolute faith on the part of Jesus Christ throughout the book of John. We can agree to disagree, but I think that it will be interesting to get to Heaven someday and hear what God has to say on this doctrinal point. Whatever Jesus does in and through a person is the only thing that is eternal and will survive the believer’s testing by fire. There are many believers that I know rely soundly on their Savior and so, like I said, some understand that point. I know that Jesus came to earth to behave as man as God intended man to behave. Not everyone will be able to grasp this truth, but I sincerely wish they could. God bless you.


        April 6, 2023 at 2:51 am

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